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January 31, 1910


"Bob" Hamilton of Kansas City,
Kas., Was "Children's Friend."

" 'Bob' Hamilton is dead." This report yesterday in Kansas City, Kas., brought grief to young and old alike in hundreds of homes in that city, for big, good natured "Bob" Hamilton was the most popular member of the Kansas City, Kas., fire department. His death was due to typhoid fever. Officially he was known as Lieutenant Robert Hamilton of No. 1 hose company, but to the "boys" and to his hundreds of friends he was "Bob." Tributes to his personal bravery and efficiency as a fireman were paid yesterday by his superior officers and the men who worked with him.

Robert Hamilton was 31 years old and had been connected with the city fire department since June, 1906. His record as a fireman is unsurpassed, and his engaging manners and Irish wit won for him hundreds of friends. Little children or women calling at the fire station to inspect the apparatus invariably asked to be conducted about by "Bob" Hamilton. He will long be remembered as the children's friend.

Mr. Hamilton died yesterday at Bethany hospital in Kansas City, Kas. His father, John Hamilton, his mother and immediate relatives were present.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed, although it is probable that the burial will take place in Kansas City, Kas.

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January 30, 1910



Building Supposed to Be
Fireproof When Con-
structed Years Ago.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Nearly Destroyed by Fire.
Beautiful House of Worship Almost Totally Destroyed Last Night by Fire.

Four charred walls is all that remains of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, at Ninth street and Forest avenue, which cost its congregation $150,000.

Fire broke out in the basement of the building, near the west end, at 8 o'clock last night. Despite the constant playing of ten streams and the concerted action of as many fire companies, it burned steadily and fiercely to the ground, furnishing one of the most spectacular fires which has occurred in Kansas City for many years. The loss is estimated by J. K. Stickney, president of the board of trustees, about $155,000. The insurance was $85,000.

The flames were first noticed by T. Russel, who owns apartments next door to the church at 912 Forest avenue, at 8:05 o'clock. At that time smoke was issuing form a window leading into the boiler rooms. The first alarm brought No. 5 and No. 8 companies.

Firemen broke into the rear of the church on the alley, but at first failed to locate the blaze. So confident were they, however, that it was already beyond control that a second alarm was turned in and companies 14, 10, 11, 25, 2 and 3 were sent. By this time a bright, red glare flamed from the second story followed by tongues of eager flame which reached from the old auditorium toward adjoining apartments.

It was stated by Chief John C. Egner last night that had the church not been located at one of the highest points of the city, where the water pressure is seldom above forty pounds, the fire might have been checked at the outset. Waiting for the heavy engines to be dragged over slippery streets probably doomed the building.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was built of gray stone and furnished in Flemish oak. It was considered fireproof when it was erected, thirteen years ago. Because of the many prominent names connected with its building, as well as its maintenance, the fire attracted an unusually large crowd for one so far from the business district. People came from Kansas City, Kas., Sheffield and Westport to see, and stood about, shivering, for nearly three hours.

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January 29, 1910


Patrons of James Street Nickle Show
Cry "Fire" and Stampede.

A loud explosion followed by a tongue of flame, which burst from the operator's room at the "Star" nickle show, No. 8 South James street, Kansas City, Kas., about 8 o'clock last night, caused a panic to spread among the one hundred or more patrons who had gathered for the first performance. The cry of fire was followed by a mad stampede for the rear exits. Men, women and children trampled over each other in their frenzy, and a large gate at the rear of the theater was literally torn from the hinges by the frightened crowd. Luckily no one was seriously hurt in the rush, and aside from a few bruises, the crowd was none the worse for its experience.

Christ Clark, the picture machine operator, did not escape so lightly. When the films of the machine became ignited Clark, in his attempt to extinguish them, was badly burned. He fell from the elevated room where he was working and was treated at No. 2 police station by Dr. Mortimer Marder. Clark lives with his mother at 2012 North Fifth street. The fire department was called, but most of the fire was extinguished by the use of chemicals. The proprietor, Frank Spandle, probably saved the life of Clark. The young man was overcome and had sunk to the floor of the room among the burning films, when he was pulled from his perilous position by his employer.

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January 20, 1910


James O'Sullivan Was Member of
Department Twenty Years.

James O'Sullivan, captain of hose company No. 21 of the city fire department, died at his home, 6616 Independence avenue, at 4:45 o'clock yesterday morning. A widow and four children survive. Captain O'Sullivan was born in Ireland in 1865 and came to America when only a few years old.

On May 18, 1990, he was appointed to the Kansas City fire department and assigned to No. 2 hose company. One year later he was transferred to No. 5 hose company, where he served as hoseman until the establishment of hose company No. 21 in March, 1904 to which he was transferred and promoted to captain, which position he held with a splendid record until his death. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Captain O'Sullivan was the inventor of the combination spanner and life-saving belt which was adopted by the department about two months ago.

The funeral services will be in St. Stephen's church, corner of Eleventh street and Bennington avenue, at 9:30 o'clock Friday morning. Interment will be in Mount St. Mary's cemetery.

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January 10, 1910


Father Dead, Mother Away, Boy
Hurt Fatally Playing Indian.

While playing with some other boys in a vacant foundry at Nicholson and Prospect avenues yesterday morning at 11:30 o'clock, Eddie Campbell, aged 8 years, was so badly burned that he died four hours later at the University hospital.

The lad was attempting to make an Indian fire with some logs, and as the timber would not ignite readily he poured some kerosene on the heated portion. An explosion followed and young Campbell's clothes caught on fire. His playmates made frantic efforts to extinguish the flames, but did not succeed until after the boy had sustained fatal injuries. The body was taken to Stewart's undertaking rooms.

Eddie Campbell had been living with an uncle, Albert Campbell, at 728 North Chestnut street, for some time. His father is dead and his mother, Stella S. Campbell, who is an actress, is touring Michigan.

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December 7, 1910


Sends Check for Kansas City
Firemen's Pension Fund.

John Egner, chief of the fire department, received a letter yesterday from Mayor J. C. Ritterhouse of Lee's Summit, Mo., inclosing a check for $107.50, a donation from the citizens of Lee's Summit, to be applied to the pension fund of the department.

In the letter Mayor Ritterhouse stated that he was sending the check to show the appreciation of every citizen in Lee's Summit for the work of Kansas City firemen on the night of December 18 last, when they overcame a fire that without their assistance would have destroyed the business part of Lee's Summit.

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January 6, 1910


Mark Kesler, Former Kansas City
Fireman, Passes Through City.

Mark Kelser, formerly of the Kansas City fire department, who trained "Dan" and Joe," the famous team of fire horses which won honors at London in the international exhibit in 1893, was in Kansas City yesterday afternoon, stopping off a few minutes on his way to Excelsior Springs.

Kesler is now with the Oklahoma City fire department, where he is engaged in training eight fire horses. He was here a short time ago, having been sent with three other firemen to make a study of the departments of large cities with a view of strengthening the Oklahoma City department.

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December 24, 1909



Firemen Grope Way to Street as
Third Roar Is Heard and Fire
Raging for Hours, Leaves
Only Ice-Coated Walls.
Fire and Explosion Destroy the Rialto Building.

Flames fed by a broken gas main destroyed the Rialto building at the southwest corner of Grand avenue and Ninth street at 3:30 o'clock yesterday morning. The building was erected in 1887 by Albert Marty, its present owner. The fire started in the basement and raged virtually unchecked for three hours until everything inflammable had been consumed. Nothing remains but the ruined and ice-coated walls. The loss is estimated at $300,000.

The building was one of the few remaining big Kansas City fire traps which are a terror to the fire department. Almost entirely of frame construction inside, it burned like tinder. In the language of Assistant Chief Alex Henderson, "not all the fire companies in Missouri could have stopped it."

The fire was noticed first by J. W. Johnson, a negro janitor, who had for many years been a fixture in the building. Johnson was sitting in one of the offices on the second floor at 3 o'clock in the morning, when he was startled by a rumbling sound like the report of a muffled cannon. He jumped from the chair in which he had been resting after several hours of hard work in policing the building, and bounded down the stairway.

He was confronted by dense smoke, and forgetting everything but that there were several person in the building who were in imminent danger of losing their lives, he bounded up the steps and shouted fire from each landing. In this manner he aroused Dr. J. W. Gaines, Dr. Robert O. Gross, Dr. Emil Thielman, Dr. Oliver F. Jones, Dr. A. Talbot, Dr. B. E. Jordan, Dr. J. B. Jones and Dr. Frank Jones. On the fifth floor Johnson came upon Charles R. Manley, senior physical examiner of the Y. M. C. A., in a semi-conscious condition, the result of striking his head against a post in his efforts to escape while groping his way through the dark, smoke-filled hallways. Johnson himself was beginning to feel the effects of the smoke, but not thinking of his own life in his efforts to save others half carried and dragged Mr. Manley down the stairway and out into the streets to safety. In the meantime, A. E. Perrine, night watchman in the building of McGowan, Small & Morgan, gas grantees, which is the first building south of the Rialto, discovered smoke and noticing the glare of flames which by that time had gained considerable headway in the trunk factory, hastened to a telephone and turned in the alarm.


The fire department soon was on the scene. The fire at first looked to be easy to extinguish. The firemen had the flames smothered, when a terrific explosion, caused by the breaking of a gas main, shot the flames up through the building to the top floors. At the time of this explosion Assistant Chief Alex Henderson and a squad of men were on the first floor of the building. The force of the explosion shook the entire building and as the flames were spreading to all parts of the structure, it was as much as a man's life was worth to stay inside, as another explosion could be expected at any time. While Chief Henderson and his men were extricating themselves from the trap, Captain Pelletier, with several men, were groping their way about in the basement of the Ninth street entrance. In what seemed to be hours, they emerged through the smoke and debris into the street. It was none too soon, as the third explosion occurred a few minutes later and had any of the firemen remained in the building they would have been buried beneath the floors and walls. By this time twenty companies had arrived and were throwing streams of water into the burning building from all sides, but it was of no use. The interior of the building was mostly wood and the outside wall kept the streams from getting to the center of the building, where the fire was worst.

The Rialto was the only old-time building of any consequence on Grand avenue. Albert Marty, the owner, is an active real estate and building man of Kansas City. He purchased the ground in 1886 and in 1887 constructed a five-story building on the corner. In 1889 he purchased forty-eight feet on the south side of the corner lot and the same year erected the south half of the building which burned yesterday morning.

The building was occupied by many prominent physicians and dentists, some of whom have been in the building twenty-five years.

"The number of occupants is in the neighborhood of 100," said Dr. H. D. McQuade, who had offices in the building for many years. "Many of us will be up against it for offices for some time, but I expect to contract for offices on the fifth floor of the Keith & Perry building tomorrow. Many of us received offers from other physicians to share their offices while looking for locations."

VALUED AT $125,000.

The building was valued at $125,000, although at the time of its erection it cost in the neighborhood of $200,000. That was more than twenty years ago. There was $81,500 insurance carried on the structure. The heaviest loser among the occupants was Hugo A. Brecklein, a druggist, occupying the first floor. Mr. Brecklein estimated his loss at $20,000, with $12,000 insurance.

J. H. Langan, son of John P. Langan, a grocer at 4601 Independence avenue, was walking north on Grand avenue yesterday morning when the fire started, and in attempting to awaken some of the men who were sleeping in the offices, he broke the glass in one of the doors, severely cutting his hand. But he saved the life of a man who was sleeping through all the disturbance, and succeeded in helping him to the street.

At least sixty physicians and twenty dentists lost their office furnishings and instruments in the Rialto building fire yesterday. The average loss for each tenant is said to have been about $700, and that only a small part of it was covered by insurance.

For years the Rialto has been the doctors' office building of Kansas City. Many of the most prominent physicians of the city were established there. Owing to the fact that in many buildings dentists and physicians are not allowed to rent offices, because the odors arising form the mixtures of medicines is objected to by other tenants, this building has long been recognized as the headquarters of men engaged in these two professions.


About 1,000 specimens of prehistoric stone implements and two ancient violins were cherished treasures of Dr. A. H. Cordier, which were lost in the Rialto fire. Dr. Cordier occupied room 310, third floor.

A collector of prehistoric implements, Dr. Cordier, on trips to Mexico, Alaska, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas and through Missouri, got several thousand specimens, and he had about 1,000 of them on display in his offices. His is a collector of old violins and had two of these instruments, which he prized highly, in his rooms. Another relic which Dr. Cordier lost was the mounted head of a mountain sheep which he shot while on a hunting trip in British Columbia. Dr. Cordier's office had been in the Rialto building eighteen years.


A long distance survey of the Rialto ruins makes it appear that Dr. R. V. Anderson, a dentist, is the only tenant of the burned structure whose effects were not destroyed, and he recalls the fact that once before in a fire in the Rialto building he also was lucky.

Dr. Anderson's office has been in the building nearly eighteen years, ever since he began to practice, and some years ago ago fire broke out beneath his office, and his rooms, enveloped in smoke and flame, seemed doomed. The firemen, however, extinguished the blaze before his effects suffered any serious damage.


At the burning of the Rialto building yesterday morning the firemen were greatly handicapped by dangers from exploding gas, and they were in continual danger of being burned by flame of escaping gas. Had the building been equipped with a Siebens' shut-off gas valve it would have been possible for the firemen the moment they reached the fire to turn off the gas in the entire building and thereby lessen the danger occasioned by the escaping gas. The building code requires the installation of gas shut-off devices on all buildings, but for some reason the ordinance has never been enforced.

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December 23, 1909


Early Morning Run Disastrous
Both to Men and Horse.

Three firemen were painfully hurt and one horse injured so badly that he had to be shot yesterday morning when hose wagon No. 3 was making a run to a fire at the city market. The fire started in the kitchen on the second floor of Julius J. Blake's restaurant, 25 city market.

As No. 3 hose wagon with two horses attched was making the turn at Tenth street and Baltimore avenue the wagon bounded into a five foot excavation. The great speed caused the wagon to bounce out again with such force that Captain M. E. Gaffey, Lieutenant George Monahan and W. L. Grooms, the driver, were thrown from the wagon. The horses were badly frightened, and ran east on Tenth street to Main where they collided with a trolley pole, which threw both to the ground. One horse was uninjured, but "Buffalo," who had been in the department since 1901, suffered a broken leg, and had to be killed.

Captain Gafffey was cut on the forehead and Lieutenant Monahan's right leg was sprained while Grooms, the driver, got off with a sprained shoulder. The injured men were helped back to the fire station where they were attended by Dr. C. E. Wilson. All are expected to be able to resume their duties within a few days.

It was estimated that $1,500 would cover the damage to the fixtures and loss on the building.

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December 21, 1909



Mrs. Wilhelmina Kimberling, Den-
tist Newton's Assistant, in
Critical Condition -- Heavy
Rug Probably Saved Life.

Presence of mind displayed by Mrs. Wilhelmina Kimberling probably saved her life late yesterday afternoon, when a gasoline blow-pipe exploded in the office of Dr. Frank H. Newton, a dentist at 520 Minnesota avenue, Kansas City, Kas., throwing burning gasoline over her clothing and that of Dr. Newton. She ran screaming for aid from the little work room, where the explosion occurred, to the outer office, where she laid down on the heavy floor rug and folded it about her in an effort to check the flames.

Dr. Newton, whose clothing was also afire, raised a window and shouted for help, in the meantime smothering the fire in his clothes. Leslie Channel, a young man who lives in Quindaro, Kas., and his father Samuel Channel, heard the cries and ran upstairs. Mrs. Kimberling's clothing was still burning when they reached her, and Leslie Channel threw his overcoat about her. Dr. Newton, who sleeps in apartments adjoining his offices, carried a heavy comfort from his bed and folded it about her. The folds of the overcoat and comfort smothered the flames, but not until she had been seriously burned.


Drs. J. A. Fulton, W. H. McLeod, E. R. Tenney and J. S. Kline reached the scene of the accident soon afterward. The woman was given emergency treatment, and taken to Bethany hospital where it was said last night her condition was critical. She received severe burns on the arms, chest and legs. Her face was also burned, but the attending physicians said the burns there were superficial.

Both of Dr. Newton's hands were burned, and he also suffered a severe burn on the left leg. He was attended by Dr. Kline.

Mrs. Kimberling for several months has worked in the doctor's office. Her mother lives in Illinois. She has one daughter, Hazel, 5 years old, who lives with friends in Kansas City, Mo. Mrs. Kimberling is 23 years old and lived in apartments in the same building in which the accident occurred.

The gasoline blowpipe, which caused the accident, is used by dentists to melt the gold used in fillings and crowns. Dr. Newton said last night he did not know what caused the explosion, but supposed it was due to a defective connection. The dentist's blowpipe is similar to that used by plumbers for melting solder.

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December 20, 1909


Kansas City, Kas., House Completely
Destroyed -- Fire Hose Frozen.

The home of John Nilges at 1414 Wyoming street, Kansas City, Kas., was completely destroyed by fire yesterday evening. Practically everything in the house was saved. The loss on the building, a two-story frame structure, is estimated at $2,700. The Nilges family were at home when the fire was discovered and the alarm was turned in at once.

When the firemen responded it was found that a part of the hose which had been in use earlier at a packing house fire, was frozen to such an extent as to render it useless. It was necessary to send for additional hose. In the meantime the firemen and neighbors formed a bucket brigade but it was impossible to save the house.

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December 19, 1909



Town Helpless as Conflagration
Gets Beyond Control, Following
Pump of Volunteer Firemen
Breaking -- Damage $65,000.

Lee's Summit, twenty-five miles southeast of Kansas City, unable to cope with a fire which threatened the business section last night, appealed to Kansas City for aid and a special train, carrying a fire engine and hose reel, went out over the Missouri Pacific at 11:45 o'clock, nearly two hours later.

The fire started from a stove, which was located over the M. A. Kinney grocery store. In a few minutes the entire business section of the town seemed doomed. By midnight three business buildings were badly burned and two others were damaged.

T. M. George, a real estate dealer, was overcome by the heat, but was rescued and revived. No other injuries were reported.

The Lee's Summit fire department was badly handicapped. The company had only a gasoline pump with which to work. Water was pumped from a public well. Two streams of water were being directed on the fire when the pump broke and the volunteers were rendered helpless. The Kansas City's aid was sought.


A special train was made up of two flat cars and one caboose. The fire engine and reel was from No. 1 station. Nine men were taken along from Company 16 with Assistant Chief Alex Henderson in charge.

The special train reached Lee's Summit at 1 o'clock this morning. when the Kansas Cityans arrived the entire population of Lee's Summit, numbering 2,000, out fighting the fire in their helpless way, cheered wildly. The engine and reel were unloaded at once on skids and in fifteen minutes a big stream was being played on the fire. the water from the old mill pond was used.

The flames were checked rapidly by the Kansas City firemen, and the impending complete destruction of the business district was prevented.

The entire stock and goods of the M. A. Kinney company, in whose building the fire started, were completely destroyed. The flames spread to the building belonging to J. D. Ocker, which was occupied by his stock of furniture and hardware.


The entire building was destroyed, including Mr. Ocker's complete stock of goods, and also the offices and fixtures of Dr. J. C. Hall, who occupied the floor above.

The fire next caught at the Citizens' National bank and the building and all the fixtures and property were consumed except the fire-proof vaults.

The J. P. McKisson building located east of the burned block was saved by the valiant work of the volunteer fire department, under the command of H. Lewis. The volunteers had played their streams on this building until the breaking of the apparatus.

One business block was practically saved. In this was the W. B. Howard Clothing store occupying the ground floor and the Bell telephone company on the floor above.

The loss of the Bell telephone company exceeds $3,000 although the local office was but slightly damaged. Only a week ago the company had rewired the town.

All connections and cables were burned and the service completely destroyed. W. B. Howard, cashier of the Citizens State bank declared that his business was the only one affected entirely covered by insurance.


In the Citizen's Bank building, where the Kansas City firemen finally checked the fire, were located the offices of Keupp & Kimball, a real estate firm, and also the rooms of the city council. All the records and papers of the city were stored in the city rooms, and were a complete loss.

The Kansas City firemen directed two streams of hose on this building and within twenty minutes had the fire put out. There was plenty of pressure and 1,200 feet of hose were used.

The loss will aggregate $65,000. The damage to the buildings was estimated at $15,000, while conservative estimates place the damage to the goods at $50,000. M. A. Kinney carried $1,000 insurance on both his stock and his building.

J. R. Leinweber, president of the bank at Lee's Summit, announced immediately after the fire that plans would be taken for an early re-building of the bank building. The bank is capitalized at $26,000 and has a surplus of $15,000. Its deposits at the last quarterly statement were $108,00. All the valuable papers and bonds held by the bank were deposited in the fire-proof safety vaults, which were uninjured by the fire.

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December 16, 1909


For Second Time Assistant Chief Is
Thrown From Buggy.

In his second similar accident this month M. M. Mahoney, assistant fire chief at No. 22 station yesterday afternoon while making a run to a fire at 3427 Chestnut street collided with a grocery wagon and was thrown out of his buggy to the pavement, receiving a slight injury on the shoulder and scratches on his face. The ambulance from No. 4 police station went to the scene of the accident, but Mahoney had returned to the fire station.

On December 1 his buggy collided with a motor car while making a run and he was thrown to the ground, but was only slightly injured and went on to the fire.

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December 10, 1909



Gas Left Burning, and Pressure Be-
coming Great Early in Morning
Scorches Woodwork, Making
the Pipes Red Hot.

Because of the vigilance of a four-months old pup belonging to E. L. Hayden, at Sixth and Central streets, the nine-room house and probably the lives of Mr. Hayden and his family were saved from destruction by fire early yesterday morning.

As the gas was so low during the early part of the evening Mr. Hayden left the furnace fire going so that the house would be warm the next morning, and turned the flow on to its full capacity.

At about 3 o'clock he was awakened by the continuous howling of his dog in the room below. He went downstairs to investigate the cause.


The dog was jumping in a frenzy, throwing itself against the basement door. Upon opening the door Mr. Hayden hear gas hissing. He could hardly make his way down the stairs on account of the stifling fumes from scorching wood. Through the smoke he could see the glow of the furnace, which was red hot. The pipes were red with heat almost to where they were connected into the different rooms of the house.

The heat was so intense Mr. Hayden made his way to the gascock, only after he had thrown a blanket over his arm. He then used a poker to turn off the gas.


The pressure after midnight is strong as most people turn the gas off entirely about that time. Mr. Hayden had not thought of this while shivering in the early evening.

The fox terrier pup belongs to Mr. Hayden's son, who is a pharmacist at the Owl Drug store. The dog has been kept in the household much against Mr. Hayden's wishes. Several times when he has been in the country he has tried to lose his son's pet, but "Romeo" has always "come back."

"Now," said Mr. Hayden yesterday, "you bet that dog stays just as long as he wants to. He probably saved our lives." There are three children in the family.

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November 25, 1909


As Many as 1,500 Couples Dance at
Once at Ball.

Over $5,000 was raised for the Fireman's pension fund at the Firemen's annual ball in Convention hall last night, which was attended by nearly 6,000 people. The actual ticket sales amounted to over $5,600, and the checking stands furnished considerable additional revenue. This fund is in charge of a committee of firemen, and is disbursed under their direction to provide for the firemen's families in cases of sickness and death.

The grand march, led by Chief John Egner and Mrs. Egner, started at 9 o'clock. From then until the early morning the dancing continued, there being twenty-four numbers on the programme. As many as 1,500 couples were on the floor at one time. Deveny's orchestra of twenty pieces furnished the music.

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November 21, 1909



Two Kansas City, Kas., Lads, Coast-
ing, Collided With Machine
While Latter Is on
Test Run.
Earl Sheirel, Injured in Collision With Fire Automobile.

Charles Cole and Earl Sheirel, aged 12 and 13 years, were run down yesterday by a combination hose and chemical fire automobile at Armstrong avenue and Seventeenth street in Kansas City, Kas., and received injuries which may result fatally in the case of the little Cole boy. The boys were seated on a small coasting wagon, riding north on Seventeenth street, which has a gradual slope for several blocks. The fire automobile, which has recently been undergoing tests in Kansas City, Kas., with the prospect of being purchased by the city, was going the same direction, being driven by S. O. Harpster. Stories of the collision which occurred between Ann and Armstrong avenues, differ. The Cole boy was seated on the rear of the little wagon and the heavy fire wagon passed entirely over his body, rolling along the asphalt pavement. The Sheirel boy was thrown to one side and a wheel of the wagon crushed a thumb on the right hand.

Following the accident the occupants of the motor wagon picked up the unconscious boy and removed him to the home of his father, J. B. Cole, 1604 Minnesota avenue. The Sheirel boy, who lives at 1606 Minnesota avenue, refused to ride in the wagon, and walked to his home, where he was treated by Dr. W. H. McLeod.

S. O. Harpster, a representative of the Anderson Coupling and Fire Supply Company, A. Zertman, of the Zertman-Tiller Motor Car Company, and a Mr. Lamb, of Bowling Green, Ohio, the occupants of the car stated that they were in no way to blame for the accident.

Charles Cole, Whose Injuries May Be Fatal.

"We were several blocks behind the boys when we first saw them," said Mr. Harpster. "I had intended to turn east on Armstrong avenue and had the car going about five miles an hour and under perfect control. We were ringing the bell constantly. When we neared the boys I started to pass them on the right side. They turned to the right and then when I turned to the left they appeared to become confused and as we started to pass they ran into us. I stopped within a car length of where we struck the boys."

This version of the accident differs materially from that told by eye witnesses to the accident. Mrs. R. Carpenter of 1619 Armstrong avenue said yesterday that the automobile was traveling at a high rate of speed.

"I tried to warn the boys, but the rattle of their wagon drowned my voice," she said. "It seemed to me that the automobile just ran right into them. The car ran at least 100 feet beyond the place where the boys were struck before it was stopped. The little coasting wagon was broken into small pieces."

A number of laborers who were working near the scene of the accident examined the tracks of the car and the little wagon, and they stated yesterday that the coasting wagon was within eight feet of the left-hand curbing when it was struck.

Dr. W. R. Palmer, who attended the injured boy, stated last night that his condition was serious. He sustained a broken collar bone, a possible concussion of the brain and severe cuts and bruises over his head and body. One particularly painful bruise is over the spine. J. B. Cole, father of the injured boy, is bailiff of the Wyandotte county court.

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November 19, 1909


Only Four in the Audience When
Explosion Took Place.

Frank Tierney, of 320 West Thirteenth street, was burned about the face and hands in an attempt to extinguish a fire that started from the explosion of a moving picture machine at the cozy theater, 1300 Main street, yesterday afternoon. There were four persons in the audience at the time.

Tierney was attended by Dr. Hamilton and sent to his home. The damage to the theater was slight.

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November 13, 1909


Mascot of Number 6 Station Killed
While on Duty.

"Major," the mascot of No. 6 fire station in Kansas City, Kas., is dead. He was only a dog, was "Major," a little white bulldog of uncertain pedigree, but he had bee the constant companion and playfellow of the boys at "Six" since the days of his puppyhood, and his tragic death yesterday under the wheels of the fire wagon he loved so well, cast a gloom over the station. "An ordinary dog with perhaps a little more than the ordinary intelligence," you would have said, had you seen him plying about the station. Had you carried your investigation farther eager friends would have imparted to you many wonderful tales of the sagacity and almost human intelligence displayed by the mascot.

The ordinary trick dog seen on the stage would have died of envy could he have witnessed the "stunts" performed by "Major" for the edification of his friends, the firemen. Long hours of patient training had perfected him in every trick known to "dogdom," but it was as a shortstop on the baseball diamond that "Major" gained the greatest laurels.

"The greatest dog shortstop in the world," he has been called on numerous occasions. Hundreds of boys and girls, yes, and grown folks too, have watched "Major" as a ball was batted or thrown from some distant part of the field, only to find a lodging between the jaws of the mascot who judged the ball with the accuracy of a major league star.

Always the first to respond to an alarm of fire, sometimes running by the side of the wagon, at other times riding on the footboard or in the basket, Major was a familiar figure at all the fires in the Armourdale district. About a year ago a can of acid was overturned an d some of it burned the mascot's foot. Since that time he has been unable to run any considerable distance and accordingly has ridden on most of the "runs."

It was while returning from a fire yesterday that in some unaccountable manner he was caught under one of the wheels and his hip crushed. Every attention was paid to him and when it was found that he could not live the fire boys brought chloroform and administered it in the hopes of alleviating his sufferings. Later it was found necessary to shoot him in order to end his misery, and an officer was called from No. 3 police station.

Passersby may wonder at the little mound in the rear of the fire station and smile when told that it is the grave of a dog, but to the fire boys, who knew his love and devotion, it marks the resting place of a friend.

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October 30, 1909



Fleecy Cotton Used by Esquimaux at
Loretto Academy North Pole
Night Flashes Into

Three girls seriously burned and a third slightly is the result of the overturning of a jack o'lantern last night during a Halloween celebration at the academy of the Sisters of Loretto, West Prospect and Thirty-ninth street, which set the costumes of the girls on fire.

The most seriously burned are:

Mimie Tiernan, 3525 Broadway.
Mary Maley, 1200 West Fortieth.
Virginia Owen, 3633 Prospect.

Slightly burned:

Ruth Mahoney, a niece of Alderman C. J. Conin.

It was stated early this morning that three of the girls were possibly fatally burned. There are little hopes of Misses Owen and Tiernan recovering. Miss Maley is reported to be in danger, though not as seriously burned as the other two. All the victims were conscious and suffering greatly. All but Miss Mahoney were burned over their bodies, and on the arms and legs.

The girls were giving a Hallowe'en entertainment in the corridor on the first floor. The stage at the end of the hall was decorated with jack o'lanterns and bunting.

They planned a "North Pole" entertainment, and were dressed as Esquimaux. They wore white trousers, covered with cotton to represent snow. Their waists also were covered with cotton. No boys had been invited.

It was 8:20 o'clock when Maley walked across the stage. She was laughing gaily and chatting with a crowd of girls walking at her side. They were all talking of the beautiful decorations and the novel decorations.

Miss Maley stumbled on a jack o'lantern. From the candle the cotton on her Esquimaux dress was ignited. The flame spread over her entire body. Misses Teirnan, Owen and Mahoney, walking at her side, rushed to their friend's help. There were screams and cries for help. Some of the girls fainted, others grew hysterical.

The flames spread from Miss Maley's costume to the three girls who had rushed to her aid. In a moment the four were a mass of flames. The clothing was burned entirely from Miss Maley's body. The cotton burned as if it were saturated in oil. The three girls, who came to her assistance, were burned from head to foot. The fire spread to the clothing of the four.

It was 8:26 o'clock when the fire department at station No. 19, Westport, received the call. Before the firemen arrived the flames were put out. The fire did not ignite the other decorations nor the building.


Captain Flahive of No. 5 police station, and Officer Wood went to the academy. Considerable persuasion was required to gain an entrance. When the mother superior was asked for the names of the injured this information was denied.

Drs. B. H. Wheeler and Horrigan were summoned. All the cotton bandages in the drug store at Thirty-ninth and Genessee were bought outright. It was necessary later to send to Westport for more medicine and bandages. The physicians remained at the bedsides of the injured girls through the night.

The school authorities refused to make any details of the accident public. To all questions as to names and the extent of the injuries, those in authority replied that there was absolutely nothing to give out.

"We have the story," the reporters told them.

"Well, if you publish anything about this, we will sue your paper for libel."

The girls at the academy had planned for a Hallowe'en dance this evening at Little's hall in Westport but because of the occurrence last night, the party has been cancelled.

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October 28, 1909



Every Place in City, and Theaters,
to Be Closed Unless Public
Is Protected Against Fire.

Following the closing yesterday by the Fire Warden Edward Trickett of the National theater, 1112 Grand avenue, every other theater and picture show in the city will be inspected and if found in unsafe condition will immediately be ordered to quit.

The fire warden served notice at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon on the manager of the National. No shows will be permitted to be given until all improvements ordered by Mr. Trickett have been made and the playhouse placed in a safe condition.

"It is the picture shows that are not complying with the ordinance relative to protection against fire," said Mr. Trickett last night. "Of the fifty that are running in this city one-third are unsafe."

Two weeks ago Mr. Trickett served every theater and picture show house in the city with a written notice, calling the attention of the managers to the rubbish and paper that had been allowed to gather under stages and auditoriums.


"If some one would drop a lighted match in this rubbish a disastrous fire would result with a large loss of life," said Mr. Trickett.

"There are eight theaters in the city. I am not prepared to say how many are violating the city ordinance. Further than to say that every manager would better order a general cleaning and inspection of his fire protection appliances, I will make no comment.

Beginning immediately, Mr. Trickett will visit every show house in the city. The wiring will be inspected and all safety appliances. Mr. Trickett will go from gallery to cellar, and if the house is found lacking in the smallest detail, it will be ordered closed.

"The theaters and picture shows have been given ample warning,"said Mr. Trickett. "Notices were sent out two weeks ago and the attention of the managers called to the city ordinances.

"I have been trying especially to get the National cleaned up. The manager has made promises and done no more. This is the third time in two years that this theater has been closed. This time it will not be allowed to open until the rubbish is cleaned up and it is made safe in every particular."

Mr. Trickett charges that the wiring in the National is defective, and the room in which the moving picture machine is kept is liable to catch fire. He found paper and rubbish under the stage and in the basement under the auditorium.

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October 14, 1909


Kansas City, Kas., Building Burns.
Total Loss $20,000.

The Rainbow skating rink at 832-34 Minnesota avenue, Kansas City, Kas., was burned to the ground last night, with a loss of $20,000, including a blacksmith shop nearby and a cottage partially burned. No lives were lost, although Mrs. Sol Sparks, aged 87, had to be carried from the damaged cottage at 836 Minnesota avenue. Several were in this cottage, but all escaped without injury. The burned blacksmith shop was occupied by H. F. Wood and H. A. Ketler.

The rink was first built as an auditorium and contained a gallery and a mechanical pipe organ. It was erected in 1907.

W. D. Brant, manager, placed its value at $18,000. Of this, $14,000 is covered by insurance. Robert Hamilton, a fireman, suffered from a falling brand which burned his hand and blistered his head.

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October 4, 1909


Both are Serving Sentences in Kan-
sas Prison for Murder -- Exposi-
tion at Electric Park Is
in Full Swing.

The attendance at the Missouri Valley Fair and Exposition in Electric park increased from 8,000 Saturday to more than 20,000 yesterday. Nearly all of the visitors in the afternoon were from out-of-town, while the city folk predominated last night. All of the exhibits are in place, including the chickens, of which there are more than 400 coops.

Several attractions were added yesterday. The exhibit of the Kansas state prison was opened. It shows the binder twine made at the prison and some needle work by women prisoners. Among that class of work is a piece of work completed by Jessie Morrison, who is serving a life sentence for the killing of Mrs. Olin Castle of Eldorado, Kas. Another bit of fancy work made by a noted woman prisoner in the Kansas penitentiary is a pillow cushion cover finished by Molly Stewart, convicted of the Schneck murder at Ottawa.

The dog show will open Wednesday, as will the flower show. In order to protect the exhibits,a fire engine station has been installed in front of the German village. Joe, the Kansas City fire horse which won first place, with Dan, another Kansas City product, at the international fire congress under direction of George C. Hale, former fire chief, is on exhibition. The animal is now 32 years old.

At 8:45 o'clock tonight "Alligator Joe" is to be married. His real name is Warren B. Frazee. The bride-to-be is Miss Cleopatra N. Croff. The marriage is to take place in the alligator farm. It will be public.

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October 1, 1909



Fire and Water Board Orders Adop-
tion of Captain James O'Sul-
livan's Invention -- Makes
Rescue Work Easy.
Invention of Kansas City Fire Captain James O'Sullivan.

A life saving apparatus to be used in the rescuing of persons from burning buildings has been perfected by James O'Sullivan, for twenty-five years a member of the Kansas City fire department and for a number of years captain of the companies detailed in the Sheffield district. The captain, with the assistance of Alderman A. C. Culbertson, gave a demonstration of his device before the fire and water board yesterday, and the board promptly gave its official approval and ordered John C. Egner, chief, to install it in the department.

The efficiency of the device is recommended by its simplicity, and the ease and promptness with which it can be operated . It is made of the stoutest quality of leather, and all there is to it is a body strap and two straps which fit over the shoulders. The rescuing fireman buckles the person to be rescued to his back with the waist strap, then runs his arms through the two straps that fit over the shoulders and is ready to descend the ladder to safety with his burden . With this contrivance the fireman has complete use of his hands, a most important necessity in such a trying and exciting situation. It is also possible for the person being rescued to carry children in his arms if the emergency requires.

"I got the idea for my life saving device from seeing the firemen rescuing a woman from the burning Pepper building a few years ago," said Captain O'Sullivan. "It occurred to me that something could be made that would lessen the danger of falling from a ladder, both to the rescuer and the rescued, and I have thought out my device which is considered by experienced firemen the best thing ever turned out."

Captain O'Sullivan has applied for a patent on his device.

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September 23, 1909


Two Small Children Then Forget to
Tell Their Mother.

Ernest Smith, 4 years old, and Lucille Smith, 2 years old, set fire to the attic of their home, 3027 East Eighth street, yesterday morning. Closing the door, the children laughed and romped downstairs to where their mother was working at her household tasks two stories below.

The children played for a few minutes on the floor of the room in which their mother was working. Neither said anything to their mother about the blazing attic they had left behind. Mrs. Smith worked for ten minutes after the children came downstairs before she noticed the smell of smoke.

Suddenly the little girl said:

"Mamma, Earnest lighted a piece of paper and couldn't blow out the fire."

Neighbors noticed the smoke and flame coming from the roof of the house as Mrs. Smith began to investigate. By the time the fire engines arrived, a great deal of the furniture on the ground floor and the rug had been removed from the living room.

Dr. Charles W. Burrill, 3124 East Ninth street, ran upstairs to locate the fire. When he threw open the door to the attic room the flame flashed out on him. His face was blistered and his hair singed by the fire. His injuries are not serious.

B. G. Smith, the father of the children, is employed in the laboratory of the Snodgrass Drug Company. His loss is about $250. The damage to the house is small.

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September 17, 1909


Fire Warden Tells 32 of 40 Moving
Picture Shows Inspected to Bet-
ter Safeguard Patrons.

In a report to the fire and water board yesterday, Edward Trickett, fire marshal, stated that he had made an inspection of over forty moving picture shows, and that he had to caution the management of thirty-two of them to better protect their patrons from danger of fire.

The marshal says that the ordinances for the regulation of moving picture shows are lax, and he recommends more stringent laws.

He says that the operating machines should be encased in iron booths, and that all operators should undergo an examination as to their efficiency and general knowledge of electrical devices.

Such a precaution, he adds, would be advantageous both to the patrons and owners of the show.

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September 15, 1909


Police Pull Charles Brown From Bed
in Burning Barn.

In a fire that destroyed a sales stable conducted by John Kirby and H. A. Thompson at Nineteenth and Main street early yesterday morning, in which forty-eight horses perished, Charles Brown, a night watchman who was asleep in the building barely escaped being burned to death.

Patrolman Cummings and Duteman, whose beat is in the neighborhood of Nineteenth and Main, passed the barn at 2:30 o'clock yesterday morning. At that time they did not notice a fire. About five minutes later they passed the corner again and noticed a small blaze near the ground on the south side of the barn. They turned in an alarm and returned to awake Brown. Cummings fired three shots in the effort, but only succeeded by breaking in his door and pulling him out of bed. By that time the fire was well under way, and it was too late to save any of the horses. Several buggies were also destroyed.

The building was a one-story frame valued at $2,200. John P. Lynch of the Lynch-Watkins Lime and Cement Company, owner of the building, said it was insured for $800.

Mr. Thompson estimated his loss at $10,000, partly covered by insurance. The barn will be rebuilt.

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September 4, 1909


Fireman's Son Thought He Saw a
Blaze; Called Department.

Emmet Simpson, 12 years old, a stepson of "Con" Shine, the farrier at No. 1 fire station in Kansas City, Kas., rushed into fire headquarters all out of breath last night about 10 o'clock and told the fireman that his father's house at 525 Ann avenue was afire. Two companies responded to the boy's alarm, but when they reached the house no signs of fire could be found. When the boy was asked why he called out the department at that hour of the night for nothing, he said "he thought he saw a fire."

"My brother, 5 years old, my baby brother, 2 years old, and myself were asleep in the house on the floor. I woke up and thought I saw a big light. I carried the baby out in the yard, and leaving my brother to watch him, I ran to the fire station."

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August 23, 1909


Kansas City Men Building Craft
Near No. 19 Fire Station.

In a shed near No. 19 fire station at Shawnee avenue and High street, Kansas City's most prominent aerial craft is almost completed. It is being constructed by a fireman, Frank Marvin, after designs of his own and those of Edgar C. Faris, an architect.

Mr. Faris fell from a street car Monday and sustained a broken ankle, but expects to be ready to experiment with the air craft by the time it is completed. The present ship is the third built by the two. The former ones were not successes. The second one was demolished when it dashed to the earth in a trial flight.

The airships are merely toys by which ideas of the two inventors are being tried out. The one under construction now is much larger than either of its predecessors, being ten feet long and four feet wide. The engines used in former experiments will not be large enough to drive the new ship. Two were used, each having one-sixteenth of one-horse power. The power will probably be quadrupled. When the ship is ready to fly, an electric light wire will be attached to it to furnish power for the engines. It then will be loosed and the value of the ideas used its construction will be learned.

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August 17, 1909


Chief and Assistant Pleased With
Auto Hose Cart Test.

The trail run of the automobile hose wagon from fire headquarters on Central between Tenth and Eleventh streets the other afternoon, produced a favorable impression on those who were witnesses, especially on the older fire fighters who have traveled on horse drawn vehicles for many years. John C. Egner, chief, and Alex Henderson, assistant chief, are among the advocates of the new craft.

The spin was taken for four blocks and the average speed generated by a 45-horse power engine was forty miles an hour. The jangling of a large bell near the chauffeur kept the streets free from wagons and pedestrians all the way.

"I am quite as enthusiastic as Chief Egner over the new hose cart," said Assistant Chief Henderson after the trail. "Kansas City must sooner or later adopt the new system. In my opinion one automobile wagon could do the work of three hose companies using horses.

"At present it takes four lines of hose to operate the water tower and thus four companies are employed. From this afternoon's test I infer that one automobile of say 75-horse power could carry 2,000 feet of hose, four lines for the tower and one single line.

"Because it is infinitely faster than a team hose wagon the new rig must ultimately supplant the present system. The secret of successful fire fighting lies in reaching the blaze in its incipiency and before it has taken hold all over the building."

The wagon weighed 5,500 pounds and was 500 pounds lighter than the team hose wagon. Besides the hose it was supplied with a single ladder, a twenty-four foot extension ladder, openers, axes and an eighty-gallon chemical tank. The wheels appeared solid from the fact that the space between the steel spokes was filed with sheet steel. The tires were solid rubber. The machine has six cylinders and is guaranteed to be unbreakable in the sense that it will survive intact the ordinary accidents of the road.

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August 12, 1909


One of John D.'s Tank Wagons Suf-
fered From the Combination.

A mischievous boy, a lighted match and a Standard Oil tank wagon combined in a very plausible fire yesterday afternoon.

The tank wagon was standing out in front of a grocery store at Thirty-third and McGee streets when a boy passed, lighted a match and threw it into the bucket box in the rear of the wagon. Then he ran, then the fire started and the wagon went up in smoke. Simple case of cause and effect.

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August 1, 1909


Rushed Into Flmaes and Turned Off
a Gas Burner.

The presence of mind of R. J. Holmden's 4-year-old son saved the family home at 2437 Lister avenue from destruction by fire Monday afternoon. Mrs. Holmden and the children were in the back yard while dinner was cooking on a gasoline stove in the kitchen. The wind blew out one of the burners and the gas from it, igniting, flared high to the ceiling.

Mrs. Holmden rushed to call neighbors, who summoned the fire department. The little boy, however, unobserved by his mother, ran into the kitchen and turned off the burner.

"The fire's out," he told his mother when the fire department arrived, and he showed his blistered hands as evidence.

The firemen investigated, to find the child's story true. The flames had not been able to reach anything inflammable in the building before the child shut off the dangerous flow of gas.

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July 24, 1909


Fire at Independence Ice Plant
Causes $25,000 Loss.

Fire at the ice plant in Independence yesterday morning destroyed the greater part of the product in the cold storage rooms. The machinery of the ice plant was not damaged. Mr. Hatton, one of the owners, stated yesterday that the loss probably would reach $25,000 on the storage goods, but the building could be restored for about $8,000.

Twelve cars of eggs probably will be lost on account of the high temperature, caused by the flames. The origin of the fire is not known.

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July 11, 1909


William Henry Brundage Dies at
Age of 64.

William Henry Brundage, who built his own factory the first hose wagon used by the Kansas City fire department, died at his home at 2817 East Ninth street of a complication of diseases at an early hour yesterday morning. He was 64 years old. Mr. Brundage is survived by a widow and a son, W. A. Brundage, who is a traveling salesman for the Anderson Coupling Company.

Coming to Kansas City in the spring of 1870, Mr. Brundage established a wagon factory at 507 Grand avenue in the following year. He manufactured all kinds of equippages, among them hose carts and trucks. When the old volunteer fire company was done away with and the new devices installed Mr. Brundage got the first order for fire trucks and is said to have supplied a very superior article for that time.

Twenty years ago the factory on Grand avenue burned and a new one was built at 1420-22-24 McGee street, where Mr. Brundage was a member of the Commercial Club. After his retirement from business he traveled in the South for his health. He returned a few weeks ago. He has a home at 1849 Independence avenue.

At the time of his marriage in 1868 Mr. Brundage at that time was paymaster in the army under General Curtis.

All attempts to locate the son, who is traveling in Kansas, failed yesterday. The Anderson company, however, assured Mrs. Brundage that he would be found some time today.

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July 2, 1909


Chemical Solution Was Used to Ex-
tinguish Flames After the Lad
Was Burned.
Ralph Townsend, Probably Fatally Burned in Explosion.

Ralph Townsend, 6 years old, the son of Charles Townsend, 1028 Ella avenue, Kansas City, Kas., was probably fatally burned yesterday afternoon by an explosion of gasoline. The flames enveloped the child's body from his head to his feet, and were extinguished by the use of a chemical solution. An automobile belonging to H. M. Stonebraker, 3928 Baltimore avenue, Kansas City, Mo., was pressed into service and the boy was hurried to Bethany hospital, where he was treated by Dr. W. H. Smith. He was later removed to his home, where at a late hour last night his condition was said to be critical.

The burning of the child was the result of a peculiar accident. The firemen had responded to an alarm from a grocery store at 356 North Tenth street, and Orlando Lind, assistant chief, had entered the building. A gallon can of gasoline was burning near a large tank filled with gasoline. The assistant chief, with a wet sack in his hand, fought his way to the tank and shut off the flow of gasoline. He picked up the small can and attempted to carry it to the street, but just as he reached the outside door a ball was melted from the can and it dropped to the floor. An explosion followed and the flames shot through the screen door. The Townsend boy, with several companions, was standing not far from the door on the sidewalk. The boy's clothing became ignited and he ran screaming across the street, the wind causing the flames to burn fiercely. All attempts to extinguish the fire were futile until the chemical solution, carried by the fire company, was used. The boy's mother and father were burned about the hands in an effort to save the child.

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June 22, 1909


Workmen Uncover Gruesome Relic
Under Building Historic in
Kansas City's Early Days.

A ghastly relic of some unknown or long forgotten crime, part of a human skull which apparently had lain in the debris for years, was uncovered Saturday by workmen excavating for the foundation of a scaffolding in the basement of the old Occidental hotel at Fifth and Bluff streets.

Yesterday other parts of the skeleton were found. The police believe that the trash and cinders cover a crime committed so many years ago that the mystery will never be unraveled.

The Occidental hotel long was one of the principal hostelries of the North end. With the departure of the business district from that section of the city the building had developed into a rooming house of indifferent character. Many robberies and other crimes were reported from the old rookery, and under pressure of the public sentiment the place was finally closed.

Last week the owner engaged carpenters to remodel it. Daylight penetrated the basement for the first time since the building was erected when a carpenter tore open the overhead flooring. As he dug into the trash with a shovel, he uncovered the lower jaw of a human skull.

"None of it in mine," he said, as he climbed to the floor above.

The firemen of No. 6 station, directly around the corner, took possession of the bone and exhibited it to all visitors. Yesterday it was turned over to the police department, along with several fragments of human ribs which were uncovered late yesterday afternoon. Dr. Fred Kryger and Dr. J. W. Hayward, who examined the bones, said that they were probably buried ten years ago. The jaw bone would indicate that the skeleton is that of a man who was probably 25 years old at death for the wisdom teeth had barely pushed through the bone.

The bones were found in the south-east corner of the cellar on top of a pile of cinders. From the slope of the debris it is believed that the cinders had been thrown in to the cellar from an outside window which has long been choked by debris. The outside of the window can be seen from the inside.

The police have not yet decided whether the body was carried into the cellar from the floor above or whether the bones were shoveled through the open window after the crime had been committed. The cellar will be searched today.

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June 22, 1909


When Singer Warbled It Excited
Theater Patrons Became Quiet.

The sudden combustion of films at the moving picture show in the Majestic theater between Eleventh and Twelfth streets on Walnut street at 10 o'clock last night nearly caused a panic in the gallery, where many voices took up the cry of "fire."

The moving picture machine, together with its inflammable films, is protected by a fire-proof booth, but the "newsies" in the gallery did not know this. As they began to leave their seats the management realized something must be done. It was the stage managers who saw a way out.

Seizing Harry Kirschbaum, who is a health officer at the city hall in the day time and a singer at the theater during the evening, he fairly hurled him down the aisle to the front of the house and bade him sing.

"Give us something brisk," he commanded in a hoarse whisper.

Without waiting for the piano the singer began the opening stanza of "Could you be true to a nice young blonde, if you loved a sweet brunette?"

Still the boys in the gallery kept up their alarming cries and the singer changed his tune to "Waltz me around again, Willie" and then to "Mariouche," the Coney Island song.

As the strains of the semi-oriental piece swung out over the gallery there was a gentle rustle as the crowd reseated itself and when the fire department arrived a moment later there was not a semblance of excitement in the house.

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May 24, 1909



Mrs. J. A. Tavis, After Gasoline
Explosion, Rushed Through Fire
and Wrapped Her Skirts
Around Boy.

Mrs. J. A. Tavis and her son, Theodore, 2 years old, were dangerously burned by an explosion of gasoline yesterday morning at the home, 313 Washington boulevard, Kansas City, Kas. The heroic action of the mother, who rushed through the flames and wrapped her clothing about the baby, probably saved the child's life. Mrs. Tavis's left leg from the hip to the foot is literally baked. She is also suffering from severe burns on her right foot and right leg below the knee, as well as the right hand. The baby, which had been ill for several weeks, was burned from the knees down on both legs and feet, also both hands and arms. Dr. W. C. Whimster dressed the wounds.

The accident was caused by dropping a lighted paper on the floor near a bucket into which a wash basin filled with gasoline had been emptied. An explosion followed and the flames immediately spread over the room and the adjoining hall. Mrs. Tavis, who was near the door leading to the hall, heard the baby scream, and rushing through the flame, wrapped the child in her skirts.

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May 22, 1909


Latter Causes Greatest Damage at a
Peanut Wagon Conflagration.

A fire company dashed down Walnut street last night, led by the insurance patrol and the chief's wagon. Several hundred people followed with legs or eyes to see what business house was afire. The wagons halted at Ninth and Walnut streets.

An insurance man jumped out of the wagon and turned his extinguisher upon a peanut and candy wagon, in which the flame of the heater had become unmanageable. The glass was broken and a crowd of street urchins made a raid on the goods, carrying off all they could eat of burnt candy, popcorn and peanuts.

The owner of the stand, who gave a name sounding something like Giovanni Lucio, returned in time to rescue a few cents' worth of property. He blamed the fire upon a bootblack he had employed to watch the stand. When the fire broke out, the lad fought the flames for a short time, and then ran away to escape his employer's anger.

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May 18, 1909



Animals, Fascinated by Flames, Re-
fuse to Escape -- Two Hundred
Horses, Released From Adjoin-
ing Stable, At Large.

More than 100 mules were burned to death in Guyton & Herrington's stables at Seventeenth and Genessee streets last night. Fascinated by the flames, they made no effort to save themselves, but slowly roasted to death, while hundreds of men stood outside shouting to scare the mules away from their death. The building was completely destroyed.

William L. Orvis, salesman for the firm, said there were 300 in the stable. The number of incinerated animals may reach 150.

Sam and Laurence Crane, who live at 2 Kansas avenue, Kansas City, Kas., were the first to see the flames, which had already gained considerable headway inside the locked building. They began trying to lead the already terrified mules out of the fire.

Companies were hurried from Nos. 1, 7, 9, 15 and 16 stations were sent. The Crane boys were inside the building when the first stream of water hit the windows. One of the sashes was knocked off and fell upon the head of Sam Crane, knocking him unconscious. He was dragged out of the flames by his brother and later revived.

Other men rushed into the furnace-like heat and strove to make the mules run out, but the blinded beasts huddled together. Volunteer horse saves raided the barn of Cottingham Bros., next door, and released more than 200 animals, which scattered in every direction. At midnight only sixty-nine had been recovered. A platoon of eight horses rushed up the viaduct of the Twelfth street trolley line and stampeded Twelfth street to Grand avenue, where they turned left and were lost in the North End.

Cottingham's barn next door was not damaged. Two small stables used by Guyton & Herrington, across the alley on Seventeenth and Wyoming streets, were saved.

A watchman was supposed to sleep in the building. What became of him is not known.

The value of the stable, which was of brick, is estimated at $20,000. The mules were worth from $200 to $250 apiece. The building was the property of the stock yards company and was insured. Both Guyton and Herrington were out of town when the fire occurred. They will continue business in the stables on Wyoming street.

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